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ballast?

Discussion in 'Residential Snow Removal' started by chuck172, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    I have a 1989 f-250 4wd with a 8' western uni-mount plow. The truck plow O.K, but I never use any ballast. Should I? How much
    The truck doesn't have a limited slip rear, and is used just for plowing my 800' driveway.
    One more things, would chains really improve my plowing?
     
  2. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Ballast will make quite a difference. Most people start with the weight of the plow, as far back as possible behind the rear axle. Probably 800 lbs in your case. Put the chains on, with the ballast, you'll think you're running a bulldozer. Is this a yard truck?

    Welcome to the site!:waving:
     
  3. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    It's just for my own driveway, not registered. 800#'s wow, any recomendations on chains?
     
  4. mercer_me

    mercer_me PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,361

    Put all the weight you can put in the back and put chains on and it should plow great.
     
  5. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I run 3,000#s :D wesport

    The welded v-bars are best.

    http://tirechain.com/VBAR.htm

    I have a set. Didn't know about cams till recently. My next set will have them

    http://tirechain.com/cams.htm

    For just doing the driveway, you don't need anything special. They will make up for worn tires too.
     
  6. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

  7. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    I'm trying to picture where in Jersey you might be to need chains to do your driveway. I understand this is a yard truck but are the tires that far gone? If the tires are decent, you should be fine with ballast, and if the driveway is paved I would stay away from chains. At 800' I'm thinking its probably not paved though, but if you do go with chains and use the truck around the yard for other chores, make sure they're easy on/off. Just my $0.02!!
     
  8. Kenyou

    Kenyou Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    Welcome to Plow Site Chuck!

    I would think you must have one heck of a lot of snow that you would need chains.With good tires and ballast, not to mention plowing with the storm, you must have a lot of icy hills to need chains to plow with.
    You already said that your truck plows OK without Ballast, so with it may be able to do it in 2-WD although I wouldn't recommend it other than to try it out. Ballast will make a huge difference.
     
  9. 91AK250

    91AK250 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,642

    i added 650lbs to my '91 and it made a huge differance! made everything so much easier.
     
  10. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    Thanks for all the good advice. The trucks tires are getting worn, I think chains would really be the way to go. I don't use the truck for anything else, the driveway is shale. At least 800'. Hilly.
    We do get pounded with snow in my area of the state from time to time. Nor-easters
    I'm working on the ballast now and looking into the chains.
     
  11. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    Just one dumb question on ballast I need to ask. When you drop the blade to plow, the weight of the plow is taken off the truck, transfered to the ground and you push the blade, how will adding weight behind the rear axel help?
    It's obvious it would help with driving with the plow in the up position.
     
  12. Seaway25

    Seaway25 Senior Member
    Messages: 165

    Rear wheel traction.
     
  13. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    Would adding ballast to get more rear wheel traction help even with an open (not limited slip) rear?
    Wouldn't keeping more traction on the front wheels plow better?
     
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    To some degree, but it's tough to add substantial weight to the front. The weight change on the rears when lifting or dropping the blade is minimal. You'll be very impressed with the added weight in the back. If it's really tough going, you can lift the blade a bit to add some weight to the front.
     
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Read this thread

    http://www.plowsite.com/showthread.php?t=85592
     
  16. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    I can easily see that adding ballast to equal the weight of a raised plow would really improve drivability and braking while transporting the plow.
    But with the plow down, adding ballast to behind the rear axel would take weight off the front and add weight to the rear. What you loose in the front, you gain in the rear. But overall, would there be plowing improvement?
     
  17. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    He's a stubborn one, eh?
     
  18. chuck172

    chuck172 Member
    from n.j.
    Messages: 30

    I'm sorry, I guess it does seem like I'm a rock-head.
     
  19. dlstelma

    dlstelma Member
    from GR, MI
    Messages: 78

    If you get your front tires stuck (say go past the edge and into the grass or something soft), you'll wish you had ballast in the rear.
     
  20. MileHigh

    MileHigh PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,827

    Ballast will also make your truck more steady when pushing a larger load in front of your blade...

    as opposed to the rear end sliding around much easier with no ballast.

    When there is wet heavy snow out...the trucks would plow like crap without it.

    I like much more ballast weight then the weight of the plow as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009